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Life discovered on the moon, 1835
The Stone-Age Tasaday Hoax, 1971
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Loch Ness Monster Hoaxes
Ancient Buddha Figurines Found in California River
Status: Undetermined
image A resident of the town of Colfax (northern California) claims to have found hundreds of ancient Buddha figurines buried in the American River:

Herman Henry says he found about 400 of the Buddha carvings in a washed out sandbar along the River more than a month ago. The thumb-sized, white carvings may be hundreds of years old. And now federal and state investigators are looking into the discovery and are looking for Mr. Henry.

He found them in a state park. It's illegal to remove historical artifacts from a state park, so that's why the police want to talk to him. Of course, there's also the question of how these artifacts can possibly be genuine. There were people from China in northern California hundreds of years ago, but these artifacts seem suspiciously well preserved. State Park Ranger Donna Turner notes, "It's hard for me to believe that there were just 500 of them laying in the middle of the river in the condition that they are in." My hunch is that Henry came up with a wild story to increase the value of some worthless figurines he was trying to get rid of.
Categories: History
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 27, 2006
Comments (9)
If it's legit, they may have been introduced to the area found relatively recently, or possibly were in a container of some sort that broke open recently. Not sure what the Gold Rush population of chinese workers was near Colfax, but I could see someone importing a large number of small figures. They may have even been dropped there recently, purpose unknown.

If it's a hoax, you'd think he'd admit it pretty damn fast when he finds out he's looking at jail time..
Posted by Bobcat  in  About an hour's drive from Colfax  on  Tue Feb 28, 2006  at  03:57 AM
On the other hand, if he did put them there, then he'll be up for Littering.
Posted by cvirtue  in  deleted  on  Tue Feb 28, 2006  at  05:47 AM
That will stir up a lot of native americans I suppose.
Posted by Unfairly Balanced  in  Earth  on  Tue Feb 28, 2006  at  10:37 AM
Where did the "quote" at the end of your article come from? I haven't seen any comments from State Parks Investigator Donna Turner that suggested Henry "came up with a wild story to increase the value of some worthless figurines he was trying to get rid of." - What was the source of this info? My hunch is that you made it up and are "suggesting" that it came from Donna Turner.
I'm the guy that has been investigating this find since last summer. The feds raided my store and arrested Henry without ANY evidence that these artifacts were old. We never claimed that they were. We were only searching for the truth.
I solved the mystery yesterday morning. The artifacts were created by Proffesor Casy O'Connor at Sierra College. He said he just wanted to spread "good karma". He also has dropped several hundred at Laguna Beach, Portland Oregon and several other locations on the west coast.
But the artifacts have in fact created there own value. People now want to buy them just to own a part of this exciting mystery. I have not sold any to date. But Henry intends to in order to recoup legal fees he has incurred.

Jim Bowers
Posted by jim bowers  in  colfax ca.  on  Sat Mar 04, 2006  at  12:05 PM
Actually, there are close quotes after: "It's hard for me to believe that there were just 500 of them laying in the middle of the river in the condition that they are in."

Alex said it was his hunch.
Perhaps you should read more carefully.
Posted by Boo  in  The Land of the Haggii...  on  Sat Mar 04, 2006  at  12:14 PM
It's not so much a hoax as it is a story of history, art, hope, intrigue, and karma.

All the news stories, from the discovery to the arrest and seizure to the solution, are linked here: <a href= "http://www.ruralmysteries.com/blog/index.html#03buddhaheads10">www.ruralmysteries.com</a>
Posted by J-Dub  in  Colfax  on  Tue Mar 14, 2006  at  02:23 PM
hello so did any one ever find out if it is a hoax because i was with a bunch of people the other day and was finding them left and rite in the river this year and last year ! and i have got a bunch of them as well statues and faces and so where being found that day as well !
Posted by crusher  on  Thu Jul 20, 2006  at  10:37 PM
It's hard for me to believe that there were just 500 of them laying in the middle of the river in the condition that they are in."
this person that said this is so stupid cause me and kids where pulling them out left and rite out of the river
Posted by crusher  on  Thu Jul 20, 2006  at  10:40 PM
No one has been able to identify them or even show other examples of like pieces in the Chinese camps during the gold rush era.
Posted by wine country tours  on  Mon Feb 18, 2008  at  10:41 AM
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